Toyota Prius Plug-in: your questions answered

This week, the new and ultra-efficient Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid is launching to the UK’s reviewers, road testers and motoring writers.

We’ll be bringing you more for the event this week, and we’ll report back on the reviews as they come in so you can find out all about the car from the independent experts.

To coincide with the launch, we asked for your questions about the car, and we can now bring you the answers.

Read on for all you need to know about the Prius Plug-in – and don’t forget to leave us a comment below if your question hasn’t been answered yet.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid

How does the Prius Plug-in work?
The Prius Plug-in is what we term a PHEV, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It uses a development of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system that combines a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 1.8-litre petrol engine to deliver smooth, refined and ultra-efficient driving and incredible economy.

The lithium-ion battery means it can drive approximately 15.5 miles purely on electric power, meaning low running costs and zero emissions.

What is the range of the Prius Plug-in?
The electric-only range of the Prius Plug-in is approximately 15.5 miles, enabling typical commuter journeys to be accomplished with zero tailpipe emissions. Thanks to the hybrid powertrain’s petrol engine, Prius Plug-in is equally able to accomplish long distance trips.

Once the car has reached the limit of its EV driving range, it automatically operates in full hybrid mode, with the petrol engine coming into play. This means there is none of the concern about whether the car can reach its destination without running out of power – the ‘range anxiety’ that is typically associated with full electric vehicles.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybridHow much does the Toyota Prius Plug-in cost?
Prices for the Toyota Prius Plug-in start at £32,895 on the road, but this falls to £27,895 with the benefit of the £5,000 Government grant available on new plug-in vehicle purchases, provided through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

What is the CO2 emissions figure of the Prius Plug-in?
The Prius Plug-in achieves a new low benchmark in its class with official CO2 emissions of 49g/km, way below the 100g/km threshold for UK road tax (VED).

What are the fuel consumption figures of the Prius Plug-in?
Official combined mpg figures are 78.5mpg in HV (hybrid vehicle) mode. When you drive solely in EV (electric vehicle) mode, the Prius Plug-in uses no fuel. However, official figures been calculated for EV mode using a standard testing cycle which takes the average from one run with a fully charged battery and a second run with a depleted battery.

Do I need to charge the Prius Plug-in?
Not necessarily. If the Prius Plug-in’s battery is not charged, it simply performs as a ‘standard’ Toyota hybrid vehicle, using the engine and/or the electric motor depending on the driving conditions and battery state of charge.

However, charging the battery does ensure the highest levels of efficiency and zero-emissions driving, particularly in stop-start or low-speed conditions, so we recommend regular charging.

What happens when the EV battery on Prius Plug-in runs out of charge?
The car automaticlaly  switches to HV (hybrid vehicle) mode and runs as a standard Toyota Hybrid, just like the normal Prius.

[youtube width=”580″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVe_-bps7hw[/youtube]What do I need to charge the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
The Prius Plug-in comes with a dedicated charging cable, which fits under the boot floor. This plugs into a standard domestic socket, but we recommend an isolated charge point is installed to protect against overloading your home’s system. Toyota’s recommended supplier of electric car charging points in British Gas, who will provide a free site survey to our customers. British Gas says it can supply a charging point for as little as £375 – find out more on the Toyota website. Buyers are not obliged to use British Gas.

How long does it take to fully recharge the Prius Plug-in?
Around 1.5 hours using a standard 240V electrical supply.

How long is the EV battery warranty?
The EV battery has a warranty of eight years. The Prius Plug-in benefits from the standard five-year Toyota Warranty.

What is the battery life of the Prius Plug-in?
The lithium-ion battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle.

How much heavier is the battery pack from the regular Prius?
The Lithium-ion battery in the Prius Plug-in weighs 80kg, the Nickel-Metal Hydride battery of the Prius weighs 42kg.

Does the EV battery take away space from the passenger compartment or luggage capacity?
Luggage capacity above the floor is only 2 litres smaller in the Prius Plug-in than in Prius, at 443 litres (compared with 446 litres for Prius). Below the floor, space is smaller – 40.5 litres vs. 48 litres. Total load volume increases to 1,120 litres when the rear seats are folded.

These figures were measured by the VDA method.

What is the fuel tank capacity of the Prius Plug-in?
45 litres.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid drivingWhat is the 0-62mph time of the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
The 0-62mph time is 11.4 seconds. Top speed is 112mph.

How does the Prius Plug-in compare with the Prius in terms of performance?
The top speeds of the two cars are the same, at 112mph. The Prius has a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, one second quicker than the Prius Plug-in.

Does the Prius Plug-in have a spare wheel?
The Prius Plug-in comes with a tyre repair kit to save weight.

Is DAB digital radio available on the Prius Plug-in?
DAB digital radio is available as a dealer-fit option.

Does the Prius Plug-in have Adaptive Cruise Control?
The Prius Plug-in has cruise control as standard. Adaptive Cruise Control is not available.

Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid interiorCan I pre-heat the interior of the Prius Plug-in before using it?
Pre-heating is not available on Prius Plug-in. This is because the car’s air conditioning is coordinated with the standard front seat heaters. This enables the system to reach a comfortable temperature for the driver and passenger more quickly and effectively, further improving efficiency.

When does the Prius Plug-in go on sale?
The Toyota Prius Plug-in is arriving in UK showrooms now (July 2012).

How can I book a test drive?
You can book a test drive in the Toyota Prius Plug-in on the Toyota UK website.

How can I read a brochure for the Toyota Prius Plug-in?
You can read the online eBrochure or order a paper brochure on the Toyota website, or find out more about the car here.

169 comments

  1. Hi there! Once the hybrid battery is fully charged while driving, does the EV battery start to charge after while braking or going downhill?
    Thank you,
    Ferruh

  2. How do we change the “now playing” on our DAB radio, we are listening to one station but it tells us the now playing off of heart FM!?

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.

      Thanks.

  3. Battery is fully charged, outside temperature is 8 Celsius, driving slightly down the hill, petron engine kicks-in and warms up the engine till I come to work, 3 miles from home. Only 1 mile used electric, other 2 on petrol. Petrol engine starts at 37-39 mpg imperial. Then on electric can drive up to 58 mpg. Why? It happen today at +10 Celsius when I drove back from work when petrol engine cooled down. Dealer at Vantage Leeds said that it must be normal as there are loads of electronics which decide when to do what. The Book says that petrol engine will kick-in when outside temperature is far below Zero Celsius.

    1. Hi Raimondas,

      Thanks for getting in touch. EV driving range takes in a variety of factors including speed, wind resistance, terrain, weight, driving style and much more. The Hybrid system automatically switches between the petrol engine and electric motor to create the most efficient drive. To give you a bit of an indication, on the average urban journey 50% of the driving time is spent in EV mode.

      In addition to this, depending on what car you are driving, it may need a service. In some circumstances if certain filters are not cleaned the engine can run more regularly, however this does depend on the model.

      Thanks.

      1. Why ‘The maximum speed in EV mode is 100 km/h (62 mph), or 85 km/h (53 mph) on European models’ is so different? I often drive on motorway 8 miles to my workplace. My PIP does 58 mph on EV. I put cruise control on 57 mph. I watch lorry drivers cursing me and taking over. Should I put banner out saying ‘sorry, this is Toyota Europe…’? Why should I use petrol to please lorry drivers whereas my workplace is within the EV range? Just because Europe decided EV must be below 60 mph? Why non-Europeans are allowed to drive on motorways without causing distress to lorry drivers? Is it a joke or discrimination? Can it be put right? Please change my PIP computer EV top speed number to 62 mph for free, please 🙂

      2. Hi Raimondas,
        Thanks for getting in touch. We are sorry that your Prius Plug-in does not suit your needs.
        We would always recommend checking that the vehicle is suitable, before purchase.
        We have no information about an update to the Prius Plug-in, but the new RAV4 Plug-in will be able to travel in EV mode well above motorway speeds.
        Thanks.

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